Family Reunited and Health Insurance Craziness

Family Together

Family Together

This weekend our daughter Ren arrived from San Francisco for a weekend attending a bridal shower. This gave us an opportunity finally to have us together with both our daughters. The first time we were all together since November 2013. Both girls visited us at the start of the year, but on two different schedules, in South Africa. We were invited to a “luau” at a bar called Rum Runners in Raleigh on Friday night, so we got this picture of us. It was a good time with some entertaining music and comedy.

Our daughter Ren is also starting to plan a wedding for next summer, to her long time love Patrick. She went to try on wedding dresses with her mother and sister, and they had a fun time of it apparently. She actually found a dress she loves and we put money down on it. Oh boy. They also spent lots of time doing other planning. Still, I managed to spend a little quality father/daughter time with her before she had to return to California. She’ll be back in September for her friend’s wedding.

When we last left the blog, we were looking at health insurance. My friends, who were here while we were gone, assured me that the insurance premiums had gone through the roof before Affordable Care Act. I was still rather shocked at the premiums for two people of our age, with ridiculous >$10K deductables, and not a lot of cost protection from the out of control health prices in this country. So much so, that I considered finding out what it would take to keep our travel health insurance going, for which we had paid through the end of August.

That’s when I found out that our travel insurance didn’t cover us for as long in the US for a visit back as I expected. It turned out we weren’t covered! We briefly considered leaving the country that very night to get our coverage back in action (even called our friends in Toronto who invited us to visit them). You can imagine how this idea stressed us, with Ren not yet here and the possibility of our leaving the country. Karen said that no matter what she was going to be here for the wedding dress shopping. But, fortunately, the next morning my friend Andy put me in touch with someone who got us some short-term gap coverage for ONLY a few hundred dollars.

Meanwhile, we signed up right away for the health insurance plan that will go in effect on the 15th of July and paid our premium (that costs half as much per MONTH as our ANNUAL travel health insurance). Ugh.

My advice to anyone returning home after their journey, is to make sure you check with the travel health insurer to make sure they will cover you until you can get new health insurance. Ours had specific rules I was unaware of relating to returning that were different from just temporarily visiting our home country. Can’t say I blame any insurer for not wanting to cover anyone in the US without major money. While the US healthcare may be superior in some respects (debatable), the cost for medical care (and thus insurance) is just insane compared to the rest of the world. If practical, I would just fly out of the country to have healthcare done rather than put up with it.

We have good mobility with Karen’s new car, and have found an apartment. Move in date isn’t until mid-August, so we will continue living on the boat with trips to Raleigh and other places in between.

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1 Response to Family Reunited and Health Insurance Craziness

  1. Hugh - Wild Goose says:

    We have never stopped griping about our US $10,000 deductible plan that costs us a bunch every month for nothing but catastrophic health care. Linda’s $300 surgery to reattach a severed finger including an overnight hospital stay in Greece, and our $1,000 high-tech LASIK surgery in Turkey, opened our eyes to the myth that “the US has the best healthcare in the world.”

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